Fighting With Words

Yesterday one of my sons came to me about an argument (religious) two friends had got into.  He was furious at both of them, because both were “arguing” in the terms and from within their rather deep belief systems, and getting increasingly mad at how “stupid” the other was, when there was no intelligence involved on either side.  Or rather, whatever reasoning there was was coming out in terms that the other side either could not decode or would interpret as fighting words. (My son mostly just wanted to vent so he did that, and then he was fine.)

I have banned a total of about 8 people (if you count ten or so of them as being one very notorious troll) from this blog.  A couple I banned were for religious nonsense, and one was of my religion.  But when you come in quoting the Bible as though it “proves” something about a current political situation, you’re not arguing in terms people can discuss.  You’re shutting down the discussion with something you think is irrefutable, because it goes beyond logic.  This might be very convincing in a group of like believers (not always.  Doesn’t convince me.)  BUT in an open group, where people of all religions and none gather, this is just annoying and the equivalent of shouting insults, or reciting meaningless mantras.  UNDERSTAND this is not saying “oh, the situation reminds me of this” as we’ve all quoted the Bible, Kipling, or even songs or movies in that manner.  I mean giving a quote from the Bible and saying “And this ends the discussion” because if everyone believed in the quote and interpreted it as the quoter it would, only people of course don’t.  So such a tactic just drives other people insane and ends meaningful discussion.

What brings this up is not religion, per se, except in the sense that some political movements seem to have acquired religious overtones.

I have long ago realized that when the left says “check your privilege” they are doing exactly the same as people quoting the Bible in a discussion-ending way.  They are saying something that from within the deep halls of their religious belief is meaningful and discussion-ending.  But to the rest of us, it’s mumbo-jumbo and annoyingashell.

Look, I have a liberal arts degree, and I learned in a country that was at the time (probably still is) nuts for Marx.  I understand what they were taught about institutional racism, privilege and all that.  I just happen to think they’re wrong, because individuals are individuals and should be treated as such, not as broad classes.  I refuse to believe Obama’s daughters have fewer opportunities than my sons because they’re female and a little darker.

So to me when a Marxist screams “check your privilege” what I really hear is “I’m a brain washed idiot.”

This is worse if it comes in the middle of a comment or rant that makes sense otherwise, say something about the culture of recent immigrants can hold their kids back.  I’ll be reading along going “Okay, I see you’re coming from the left, but there’s common groun–” and then we hit the “magic words” and my brain goes into instant “these are my middle fingers.”

Recently we’ve started getting the same from the soi-disant right.  It’s an “European right” that treats races and classes as groups, not as aggregations of individuals with wild variation.  Look, they’re mostly young, and mostly rather stupid.  I’m not saying some of them aren’t individually smart, because some of the ways they’re stupid are ways in which only smart people can be that dumb.  Like believing the melanin content of the skin correlates with IQ, or that culture is hereditary.

Mostly they’re kids who realize that they’ve been lied to all their lives, and think that by turning the lies completely around they’ll find the truth.  The world is never that simple.

The problem though, is that their lingo has acquired the same properties as the left.  It has spread to older people who should know better, and who use it because they can and because they think it’s a thumb in the eye of political correctness.  But what it actually does is argue from “deep cult” and shut down discussion for anyone not already along for the ride.

I was reminded of this, recently, while reading a comment to one of my posts at Instapundit.  I don’t often do it, because lately there’s been a lot of crazy.  But the comments were interesting, and this particular one was very good (and no, I can’t remember about what) and made perfect sense/explained things beyond where my post was.  All except the last line who referred to the Halfrican Queen.

It took me a moment to realize from context it was talking about Valerie Jarret.  But beyond making the comment more opaque and signaling a brain-shutting cultish type of thinking, it did more than that.

It introduced completely irrelevant emotional distractions.  Halfrican, and all the other stupid epithets of that ilk is not an argument.  If it were an argument, you’d have to explain why the fact that Valerie Jarret is half African (is she even?  I thought she was mostly Arab) has anything to do with the fact that she works for the Muslim brotherhood or is a red diaper baby.  I mean, sure, there’s some covalence there, but that’s cultural, and part of her being indoctrinated to believe she was hard-done-by due to her skin color.  But there are many people who fill the same role without the genetic heritage.  Obama’s lily-white mother was a red diaper baby and so are half of the lily white, upper class darlings of science fiction.

The term, besides not sounding nearly as clever as it does inside the cult IS anti-pc, but it is anti-pc in a way that not only brings irrelevant arguments to the discussion but that like “check your privilege” proclaims “I come from so deep within an echo chamber that I consider this a clinching argument.”

I’ve gotten to the point that my middle fingers come up automatically when I hear one of these words.  Cuck, for instance, means “I don’t understand parliamentary procedure or governmental structure in the US and I want to impress it with how angry I am.”  Halfrican means “I have no clue how human intelligence/DNA/culture works, but I want to be superior to someone.”  The rest of the vile lot means a bunch of other things such as “I believe in an international Zionist conspiracy, just like Marxists and Palestinians, because I think those two are beacons of sanity.”  Or “I believe in magic dirt, because if you’re born on the land for x generations you’ll have the right culture/beliefs, even if the schools and society are no longer teaching them.  And I’ll ridicule others for believing in “magic dirt” when people do their best to BECOME part of the nation.”

In fact, all of these terms aren’t cute, aren’t funny.  They’re creepy eructations that mean “I joined a cult.”

They have the added “benefit” of making people who don’t fully agree with you and don’t come from the deep cult shut down on you.  And of making people on the other side FURTHER believe they were justified, are victims and should hold on hammer and tongues to their victimhood instead of actually listening to what they’ve been doing wrong.

In fact, these thought-stopping and substitute for thought words do the very opposite of shattering the PC bubble and making people think.

We have to fight with words, or surely we’ll fight with actions. But fighting with words that stop thought and discussion will only make things worse.

And yes, I know, because I’ve seen this in posts by Stephen Green or other of my friends, some *sshole will come along and say because I don’t like these cutesy words that mean nothing I’m a “closet democrat” or a “communist.”  Being called a communist is one of my new and favorite pastimes, considering I’ve broken more communist heads than anyone not a veteran of the armed forces and that even before I had a political philosophy I knew I was anti-communist.

But before you do that, explain to me how using stupid made up words makes your point that communism is bad, or that the democrats are Marxists.  Make it cogent.  Show your work.

Because all I’m seeing are people coming from deep-cult and thinking that the short cuts around thought that they’ve gotten used to will work on everyone.

And that’s tragically wrong.

 

395 responses to “Fighting With Words

  1. Halfrican is a new one for me. It sounds like the first step on the slippery slope back to mulattos, quadroons and all those other grades of slave quality.

    In general it seems to me that the “ALT-RIGHT” is a reaction to the “CTRL-LEFT” and the world would be a better place if it had neither.

    • Way back when, Mark Russell remarked that the existence of the “Moral Majority” implied the existence of an Immoral Minority. He claimed to be a member of the Embarrassed Neutrality.

      As for the ALT-RIGHT and the CTRL-LEFT, I think they’re both full of SHIFT.

    • Oh, they’ve used it forever. I don’t even have a problem with them using stupid words, just like I don’t have a problem with people quoting authority. I have a problem with them thinking it’s a clinching argument.

    • If it is of interest, Valerie Jarrett’s family is descended from a white Louisiana slaveowner who married the black mother of his children, and who emancipated her and them. One of her direct ancestors was a black Louisiana Republican who was elected a Louisiana Representative and then a US Senator, but was kept by Democratic maneuvers from taking his seat.

      It was a very interesting episode of that PBS genealogy show.

      • They also talked about her Mideast side, IIRC.

      • Personally, I was unaware of Jarrett’s ancestry, and certainly wouldn’t judge her by her ancestors anyway.
        What bothers me about her is her long association with ‘Chicago politics’ and support of a Muslim group promoting the genocide of another race. Frankly, those two facts are damning enough without digging into the dumpster looking for more.

        • That is why my answer to claims that I don’t like Obamacare because I am racist is that I didn’t like Hillarycare and I didn’t like the idea when Teddy Kennedy first promoted it.

          I don’t care who promotes it, I say it’s spinach and I say to hell with it.

          If you tell me that the bad news is I am going to need open heart surgery, do not tell me that the good news is that the surgeon doing doing it will be an African-American Muslim woman, nor an Irishman nor a Jewish man nor a WASP. Tell me that the doctor has successfully performed the procedure hundreds of times already.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            “I don’t care who promotes it, I say it’s spinach and I say to hell with it.”

            May have to steal that line sometime.

            • It is from a 1928 New Yorker cartoon, possibly this one:


              Possibly not. In 1932 Irving Berlin wrote a song with that title and this verse:

              “I Say It’s Spinach (And The Hell With It)”
              [Verse:]
              We must keep smiling and play the game
              While life keeps hurrying on
              For there was trouble before we came
              ‘Twill be here after we’re gone
              So we’ll just have to prepare
              To snap our fingers at care

              [Refrain:]
              Long as there’s you, long as there’s me
              Long as the best things in life are free
              I say it’s spinach and the hell with it
              The hell with it, that’s all!

              Long as I’m yours, long as your mine
              Long as there’s love and a moon to shine
              I say it’s spinach and the hell with it
              The hell with it, that’s all!

              There must be rain to pitter-patter
              Things don’t come on a silver platter
              What does it matter?

              Long as there’s you, long as there’s me
              Long as the best things in life are free
              I say it’s spinach and the hell with it
              The hell with it, that’s all!

      • Fun fact: every American president is provably a descendant of King John of England EXCEPT — Martin van Buren.

        • How so? I’m sure the full proof would be rather long, but is there a short summary? You’ve made me curious.

          • I think it’s because almost everyone in England (and of English descent) can trace ancestry to King John. It’s how I know that I’m 50th in descent from Cerdic the Pirate (who terrorized the Saxon Shore ca. AD 360, and whose descendants became the foundation of the line of kings.) Van Buren is a Dutch name, and he’s early enough that his ancestors could have been exclusively Continental.

            • That and Edward III — Dan can, and so can most Americans. H*ll, being from the North of Portugal I might be able to. I haven’t looked.

              • We not only descend from King John (or so says genealogy cousin) but Martin van Buren is some sort of cousin on the Dutch side of the family (or so says Mom). So I guess if there’s some basis in genetic something or other destiny hogwash, we’re more American than anyone else on account of being related to all the Presidents!
                More importantly, makes American history study much more entertaining.

        • Which, IMO, is perfect fodder for a conspiracy theory that the United States was founded by renegade Plantagenets far enough out of the line of succession that Henry Tudor didn’t kill them, but close enough that they were still peeved about the takeover.
          Note carefully: Bosworth Field happens in 1485. John Cabot finds Newfoundland in 1497. Coincidence? I think not!

          (The truly frightening thing is that this is not, in fact, the most ludicrous conspiracy theory on the ‘net.)

    • Halfrican is a description that doesn’t mean anything anywhere else in the world, either.

      I love that second paragraph. I intend to excercise my American culture and appropriate it. Would you like attribution or prefer anon.?

    • Seen on FB (Sorry, can’t remember the source):

      All we need now is a delete, then we can reboot and start over.

  2. Sadly, people are no longer, as Professor Digory Kirke noted, being taught how to argue. They are incapable of distinguishing valid reasoning and confuse generating heat for shedding light.

    Thus arguments devolve very quickly into various forms of Ipse Dixit fallacies, often in the forms of argumentum ad verecundiam or ad hominem denunciation.

    • Keep in mind that for many of those engaging in such internet arguments it does not matter, as Screwtape notes, whether they are Patriot or Pacifist. In either case they are overheatedly working themselves toward one extreme or the other.

      Whichever side he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of the partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him into the stage at which religion becomes merely part of the “cause” and his [faith] is valued chiefly for the excellent arguments it can produce in favour of the British war effort or of Pacifism. … Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades mean more to him than prayer and and sacraments and charity, he is ours–and the more “religious” on those terms the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here (Screwtape 42-43).

      The key point here being that the advocacy of the “patient” serves to drive away potential converts and drives the patient toward irrelevancy.

    • Seen that Stanford write-up about how kids these days can’t tell ads from news?

      Here’s a quote followed by a link to the summary that I got the quote from:
      More than 80% of students believed that the native advertisement, identified by the words “sponsored content,” was a real news story. Some students even mentioned that it was sponsored content but still believed that it was a news article. This suggests that many students have no idea what “sponsored content” means and that this is something that must be explicitly taught as early as elementary school.

      https://sheg.stanford.edu/upload/V3LessonPlans/Executive%20Summary%2011.21.16.pdf

      I think it’s a bit more likely that the kids don’t agree with the researchers about the magic reliability of “news articles.”

      Like a blind pig couldn’t notice that a lot of “news articles” SHOULD be classes as opinion, especially on Salon.

  3. Professor Badness

    It’s why I’ve taken to responding with, “And what does that mean, exactly?”
    It either shuts them down as they try to respond, or it opens up the discussion for more in depth analysis.
    Either way, it’s usually a win.

  4. Aw, I thought I could be first… That was also a new term for me – and I despised it before I finished reading the word. The point is not to become the mirror image of those that we loath – it is to be better then them. Show that with free thinking and logic – only on real path makes sense – some flavor of libertarianism (or classical liberalism).

    I know I make my cousin’s head explode whenever we talk (he went to Northwestern the poor dear – but he is recovering). But he listens because I give him logical reasons for it. Specifically, I like to argue that within the Christian worldview – the only logical stance is to be for libertarianism. Because God granted each individual equal dignity (and free will) – and to have some rule over others would interfere with that agency.

    Now, outside the Christian worldview there are other arguments – but I point this one out because he asked me once how I squared my Christianity with my lukewarm support for the right. When I explained that I supported who I did BECAUSE of my Christian views I could *see* the neurons stop firing and think about that.

    We need to be making people THINK – who cares where they go with it – but if you make them THINK – eventually they will come up with something logical – and that puts them firmly in our camp (a camp the size of a continent with lots of weird areas) – but also clearly out of the Marxist camp – because NOT thinking is the hallmark there.

    But words that shut down THOUGHT will help the Marxists – even if someone claims to despise them – Marxists are overall about a lack of thought – so if someone pushes stuff that stops thought – they are playing into their hands. ie Useful Idiots.

    -John

    • Assuming a capacity for thought among Leftists is a mistake. A lot of them are Leftists because they do not -want- to think for themselves. They want to belong to a nice big herd who will protect them. They follow along and never leave the herd.

      Generally they only think for themselves after a near-death experience, something so shocking that their whole little world tumbles down. Car accident, mugging, heart attack, stuff like that.

      • Well, how many of us here had leftist ideas back when we were younger and knew everything?

        • Even me. but for my sins, I was raised in Europe. Even anticommunists are leftist there.

        • Actually, from some conservative’s views, I still do. I’m that fiscally conservative, socially liberal sort.
          Welfare is a trap, and giving people money for not working destroys any initiative to do better. Welfare could be fixed to a way out not a trap, but the bureaucratic dead weight is unwilling to try (they would loose their power over people). On the other hand, gays want to be married? Go for it! Just be understanding that the Christian baker may not want to be part of your celebration, and it isn’t a reflection on you, it is a part of their belief system. Abortion is tricky. Part of my conservatism is recognizing the inherent failings of humanity. That genie can’t be stuffed back in the bottle completely, but describing a procedure of allowing a baby to come 1/2 way out of the womb and then crushing his/her head is vile, evil and wrong and calling it an ‘abortion’ doesn’t make it any less so. If you support that, you are indeed on the other side.
          I think most all of our regulations could be eliminated as a taxpayer bureaucracy and the duty to be given to standards organizations like ISO and IEEE. Remember who standardized the nut and bolt industry? The insurance company. If you wanted insurance on your steam engine, they had to have standards to determine if it was insurable. Motivated self-interest always works more efficiently than either ‘do-good’ or ‘for the children’. The environment is important, and we need to do what we can to preserve it. Having the EPA, and moving toxic rare earth processing to China, so they have the pollution not us, doesn’t solve anything. Solar electricity has concerns, either in the coal-fired energy China uses for the manufacturing or the french fried bald eagles flying overhead the big magnifying glass. Climate change? Don’t make me laugh. Live in Colorado and want to smoke some pot? Go for it, but please, like alcohol have a designated driver and/or support grass roots organizations like Uber (staying at home for the night works too). Have fun, be safe.

          • So, we’re about at the same place.

          • Yup. “UL-approved” meant “Underwriters’ Laboratory,” set up by the insurance companies.

          • People tend to improve at what they work at. Pay people to work and they tend to become better at working’; pay them to not work and they become very accomplished at not working.

          • Yup. This is why I “lean libertarian.”

            The majority of folks try to avoid politics like they try to avoid the crazy guy down on the street corner screaming “THE END IS NIGH!” and for pretty much the same reasons. Both sides make political hay over inciting fear. “The Rethuglicans are gonna take your medicare! Your Food Stamps! Gonna deport your friends and put you up against the wall and shoot you!” “The Democrapheads want to flood your neighborhood with rapist illegals and take away all your guns, then the criminals will shoot you!”

            One of these happens to tread closer to the truth, but they sound pretty much the same to the guy trying to buy bread and baby formula at 11:30 at night at the local big box store. A candidate the ran on the formula of “look folks, I’ll leave you the h*ll alone as much as I can. Vote for me and I might bother you to help out if there’s a fire or flood or something, but otherwise I’ll try to keep the roads clear and the budget simple. Deal?” that guy *might* get more of the folks who stay home, but the ones who vote in every election and follow politics like other folks follow football wouldn’t be as enthused. The latter are pretty much guaranteed to vote… the former are not. So successful candidates have for the most part farmed the latter.

            The true believers are highly unlikely to be swayed. The rest, the youngsters even, those are yet to be determined… It’s amazing what growing up (at whatever age you do it) and finally standing on your own two feet does for you. This is why, if the economy has an upswing (possible. Not bloody likely if the election had gone the other way, mind), I hope to see more taxpaying Millennials suddenly realizing all the free stuff they got came from what is now their paycheck… And maybe we oughtta put the brakes on that.

            • For me, one of the scary things about the Obama presidency was how frequently I had to stop and check that I wasn’t wandering off into tin-foil hat land. There were just so many crazy things going on that it felt like the plot of a conspiracy movie. And I don’t know which is worse – the fact that all of those things actually did happen, or that so many people just don’t care.

              (though I bet they’d care a *lot* of Trump tried to do them…)

              • You mean like They freaking ran guns for the Mexican druglords? (Fast and Furious.)

                And the “defense” was gold… “Bush did it!” No, there was a slightly similar program that was discontinued when they figured out it didn’t work, and THEY didn’t step on their *censored* and make it public by trying to charge one of the shops they forced to illegally sell weapons!

              • Yes. And the scary part is when I WASN’T in tinfoil hat land.

          • > Remember who standardized the nut and bolt industry?

            “Unified National” was decreed by the War Department in the early ’40s. It’s still the standard for almost all the fasteners I deal with.

            For that matter, the War Department decreed the decimal inch in WWI, though companies like Ford hung on to fractions for decades.

        • Not I.
          😉 Sure, I was an anarchist, but in the American tradition of property rights being the fount of liberty, not the European tradition of property rights being the root of oppression.

          • Argued with a leftist recently who was a sociopath. Having called it sociopathic to regard property rights as human rights, he went ballistic when I pointed out by that argument we had the right to steal all his food.

        • I grew up inthe Seventies and Eighties, when Conservatism was romantic. Also read a lot of Allan Drury. And my parents were conservative and smart.

          But I did get fooled with leftist ideas in church. Man, I had no idea I was choosing the wrong side when I happily did what I was told by the young priest assigned to our parish. If I had known what was going on, I would have dug in my heels. But they had kept us ignorant, so I swallowed a fair amount of liturgical, hymnological, and theological bilge back in parochial school, even though I got a solid Catholic education in other ways.

          And I was so angry when I found out.

          • And I was so angry when I found out.

            /amen

            • Ah, so the parish priest we called Father Leningrad had fellow travelers in your neck of the woods, then.

              The long arm of Liberation Theology stretched right across the US church during the Cold War.

              • or left, as the case may be.

              • You should see the ones in Portugal. The reason my dad got me an exemption from religion and moral classes in school (public school, but Portugal is a CATHOLIC country) is that I tried to fan the teaching priest with a desk.

              • Worse.

                My mom use to teach CCD…until a “spirit of Vatican II” priest publicly ripped her up one side and down the other for telling high school kids that sex before marriage isn’t OK, as long as you “really love” the other person.

                Destroyed my mom’s belief that she was qualified to teach her own kids, much less anybody else, and let a lot of lazy, stupid, long rant goes here folks teach their own ignorant biases as fact.

              • Back when Doonesbury was still occasionally funny, there was a Sunday Strip in which the Reverend character (can’t remember his name, unfortunately) is meeting with a family that’s in the country illegally. The Reverend wants to know which country the (obviously from south of the border) family is from. But before they give him an answer, he explains that if the family is from a right-wing dictatorship, then the national government will refuse to grant them refugee status. And if the family is from a left-wing dictatorship, then he won’t allow them to shelter at his church.

                The father announces that they are from Canada.

          • *nods* Had similar problems with the church when I was younger, and very, very naive and foolish. It’s a powerful lesson, though.

          • Am curious; what sorts of leftist ideas were being taught? Looking for reference to see if I’d gotten any too.

            • A lot of it can be summarized as “government is a good route for corporal good works.”

              Plus lots of compassion stripped of any sort of rational/moral foundation– so it’s “not nice” to enforce immigration laws, or execute murderous torturers, or even to use deadly self-defense, but don’t be too strident in saying that abortion involves ending a human life in a variety of horrific manners.

              • *narrows eyes*

                Oh.

                THAT bullshit. Liberation theology too?

                • I think it’s technically not Liberation Theology, at least not in most parishes, but basically yeah.

                  And a lot of stuff that I think may be based on pre-Vatican-II complaints about focusing “too much” on the teachings and skimping on the love…but went off the far side of the ditch because you can’t be really loving to someone without understanding what that means, or enough about the situation to help them reach it. So it became “nice,” and that tends to go towards the sob story.
                  (We all know Mr. flipping tables and chasing people with a whip never made anyone unhappy with Him, right? Like they didn’t have families that needed to eat?)

                  • *chuckle* I have to admit, the ‘flip tables and chase people with a whip’ isn’t the most common image people have of Jesus, but I actually agree with him on it (The reason that brought about said table flipping and whipping.)

                    I remember reading somewhere that those tables were often topped with marble. If true, Jesus strong!

                    • He was a master carpenter at a time when there were no power tools.


                      We’re talking serious Roy Underhill here.

                    • He WAS most likely a trained carpenter…..

                    • Yeah, and I imagine it was carpentry that were rougher than what Pa Ingalls had (easiest mental image I have of ‘cut down tree, fashion house and furniture from it’)

                      Granted, Jesus may likely had tools that also weren’t too different from what Pa Ingalls had.

                    • Oooh, apparently the specific word is “tekton,” which means a whole lot of stuff but incudes “craftsman” and… Mechanic? But the “carpenter” meaning goes back to at least 600-something, and it would be both kind of important and the sort of thing that “everyone knows” so nobody bothers to specify.
                      http://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/joseph-saint
                      (That Jesus was working class was a huge hit against Him for at least a couple of the Jewish groups He argued with.)

                      Some argument on if that means He’d be working as much in stone as in wood, which really doesn’t lower the muscle angle.

                    • I’d read something like that before, but I’d never seen anything to follow up the ‘maybe’ of Joseph and Jesus working in things other than wood, so I’d never taken it as more than a theory.

                      Fascinating stuff, and yeah, Jesus would’ve been buff!

                    • With the priests, perhaps, but I suspect “not a priest” would have been the mark against him rather than “tradesman”. Most of the prominent Pharisees were tradesmen or laborers themselves. Government officials, maybe? I’m not familiar enough with the Gospels to know what sort of interactions they record him as having with government.

                    • I can’t remember which sect–it was kind of a firehose of information about there BEING a ton of different groups, and the Pharisees actually getting hit so much because they were so close to right.

                      Heck, it could have been a sub-group for that matter.

                • ….I guess that “biggest sob story wins” kinda sums up Liberation Theology, too, so yeah.

        • Yes, but I’d read too much Heinlein and Rand to ever totally drink the koolaid. Did the anarchic hippie thing with communes and extended family boatyard, but age and 9-11 cleared things up.

      • The problem for leftist now days, is that if they really thought about it, they would realize they hold a distorted worldview, treat people like objects and hold in contempt the very people they claim to want to help. The cognitive dissonance of them holding such thoughts in their head would probably make them explode.

        • Their worldview is not amenable to thought. It is at base a set of religious convictions taken on faith, not anything that they’ve reasoned about.

          • True, but for some of them (like my cousin) we can redeem them – by getting them to think *why* they hold certain ideas. They are taught these things by teachers and professors and don’t think about them. But once they start thinking….

            Note: I am not saying this is easy. I have been working on him for years (although he has lived overseas – so it has not been easy) – although I also think his immigrant wife will work on him as well. You should have seen her go after “cultural appropriation”.

            -John

            • Tell her to stop watching any American movies, or listening to any American music, or wearing jeans, or any of the thousands of things that came from our culture. When she sputters and refuses, then tell her, “Then shut up about cultural appropriation, if only to relieve your own hypocrisy.”

              • My personal favorite response to complaints about “cultural appropriation” is: Are you an Aztec (odds of a “yes” answer are very low)? Then no chocolate for you. If, by some chance, they don’t like chocolate and still don’t get the message, I can switch to Ethiopian vs. Coffee. That gets most of those. I suppose their might be a Mormon chocolate hater out there on whom neither would work but I’ve never met such a person who makes a fuss about “cultural appropriation.”

                • Or, “Is your background totally Anglo-Saxon?” If not, stop speaking English at me, you cultural appropriator.

                  • My answer for that kind of crap is that we won it fair and square by force of arms so fuck off. I’m also awaiting the fares owed me due to some of my ancestors running parts of the underground railway.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  I don’t drink coffee, am willing to give up chocolate, and am perhaps enough of an asshole that I’d be willing to defend the appropriation taboo. Maybe I’m not that dishonest, but I’m certainly a jerk.

              • Sorry, I wasn’t clear in my post, she thought it was an idiotic idea – as in the best thing about the USA was how we took what worked from anybody. Sorry, I see how someone could have thought the opposite from the paragraph.

                -John

                • Ah, my apologies then. Tell her that we’re equal-opportunity appropriators–we’ll take a good idea from anywhere and run with it! And we have no qualms about anyone else taking our ideas and making them their own. In fact, we encourage it. But I’m sure there’s something wrong with that too, if you ask the SJWs.

                  • we’re equal-opportunity appropriators–we’ll take a good idea from anywhere and run with it!

                    Sadly, we’ve also been known to take a bad idea and run with it.

    • Specifically, I like to argue that within the Christian worldview – the only logical stance is to be for libertarianism.

      BZZZZZTTTT! Objection! Facts not in evidence!

      I apologize in advance for the rant, especially because your original post, but this touches a nerve, one that the original post by Sarah was causing me to hope wouldn’t be touched. One of my big big pet peeves is that many people these days can’t understand where the other side is coming from, with different values and beliefs. I don’t like seeing others fall into the same trap. As a fellow libertarian (somewhat), and one that sees where you’re coming from, I can’t let this stand. For me, while my libertarianism comes from my Christianity, I can’t claim this to be the only logically valid stance.

      To start with, do a spot check with your claim. See if there is anything that would cause a reasonable person to call into question what you are saying. In this case, Christianity has a twenty century history, with Rome converting to Christianity in the 4th century. Since then, there have been a lot of rulers that have professed Christianity, and precious few have been libertarian. It’s then obvious that they must have had a logical stance other than libertarian for what they did.

      We can’t win debates if we don’t understand what our opponent’s values are, and that means assuming that their values are logical. Values are impossible to disprove. Once you get to the point where you realize someone can look at the facts and come up with a different recommendation based on different values, then you can found a civil society. We all come from different places and consequentially have different values; we have to work with people that have different values.

      The reason I am finding myself increasingly loathing the American left is that their political policy is dependent on them having a monopoly on correct values. Their policies assume that their values are the only correct ones. I can deal with people having different values, but not those that don’t grant me the courtesy of accepting my own values on the same terms, which is why I’m so strident on this point. Unlike values, we can argue policies.

      Most of the people in the progressive camp value rational things… they value not seeing people hungry or destitute or homeless or unemployed. These are logical things to value, especially for a Christian. The fact that the policies they advocate have unintended consequences which make the problems they are supposed to solve worse, and these problems are unsolvable, that’s why the progressive policies are flawed, but their values can’t be disproven. The way to persuade them is to show them the policies they support don’t lead to the values they espouse.

      I believe in a relatively libertarian government because to me it is the best way to allow other people to put into practice their own values, because I value my freedom and the freedom of others around me, but that means admitting that some people will not be as well off as others. Somebody that doesn’t value their freedom as much as the well-being of those around them isn’t going to be persuaded by paeans to individual liberty, but might be persuaded by pointing out that a rising tide raises all boats and that freedom has granted a better life for even the less-well-off.

      • “We can’t win debates if we don’t understand what our opponent’s values are, and that means assuming that their values are logical. Values are impossible to disprove. ”

        I agree with your last statement but disagree with the last part of your first. I don’t necessarily think that all people’s values are completely logical. Most people are capable of believing several things which are not necessarily internally consistent. The context in which the values are applied also matters. So, for example, I believe in free will, I believe in the net benefit from free markets and yet I still believe that in certain situations, the mentally ill should be restrained and/or controlled for their own good. I value hard work, independence (i.e. allowing people to make decisions regarding their own life) and personal responsibility but still support charities even though I know those charities sometimes support those whose work ethic is less than mine and/or who have made bad choices. I agreed to bring my children up in the Catholic church (and am doing so) without agreeing to or actually becoming Catholic myself — and my world view remains strongly influenced by the Neo-Pagan movement. You may be able to deduce what I value from what I say, but to assume that because I value A, I must also value B – that is a dangerous logical leap and often does not follow.

        This problem gets magnified when those values are aggregated across a group. Have you ever seen Arrow’s work on voting order, for example? When you have multiple issues and multiple voters, controlling the order and methodology of the voting to make the selection can determine/control the outcome.

      • Civilis,

        I agree in general with many of your points – but I would point out that I said “I like to argue” – that doesn’t mean that is always what I believe or that I don’t realize there aren’t valid ways to argue against it. Now I do think that the “Divine Right of Kings” is a much harder position to argue (even if it does have historical acceptance behind it). But that is getting away from WHY I like to present an argument in this manner.

        I find that with most people – starting an argument in this way hits them between the eyes with a 2×4 and makes them stop and think why this could be true. So many assume and think that if you are a good Christian, then you MUST be on the left. This makes them stop and think some. My cousin in particular had this assumption and when I tossed this one at him it stopped him cold. It caused him to rethink his assumptions (I haven’t won yet, but I make some progress each time I talk to him).

        And yes, the relative weight of values is a key point in how you would have to argue this (or similar) points.

        -John

  5. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    • That quote seems to apply to so much these days

    • There’s a wall in the student commons building that various special interest clubs post things on.

      This week they’re advertising the desperate need to de-gender clothing, probably because they’re too ignorant to just appropriate clothing from cultures that made the men wear skirts and the women wear trousers.

      They put up a piece of butcher (is that triggering?) paper on which people could write reasons why it is important to de-gender clothing. Now most of it is taken up by my neatly-Sharpie’d, best imitation of Marxist rhetoric on the need to de-gender clothing in order to usher in the new era of peace, prosperity and total State control of one’s clothing choices.

      I’m Helping!

  6. What brings this up is not religion, per se, except in the sense that some political movements seem to have acquired religious overtones.

    Yes.

    This comes when you are so indoctrinated that you can no longer imagine that anyone who is of good faith or educated could not help but agree with what you ‘know’ to be true. To someone solidly entrenched in a political faith bubble what they say it is as obvious to them as suggesting that the cloudless sky in the afternoon appears blue and or that the grass of a well maintained lawn in spring is green.

    The Spouse has long argued that these people will not have their minds changed by arguments on a blog, recommending that if and when you engage them remember it is for the sake of others watching and the joy of the batting.

    • Larry’s oft-repeated “internet argument is a spectator sport”

    • Actually, I think of it as a lifeline of sanity. If they act as you describe, then I tell them to go back under their bridge (Troll) or rock (the unenlightened sort).
      Very rarely, I run across someone who is willing to truly debate their point of view, and sometimes even acknowledge that they are correct and a point I made is wrong. That would be 2 or 3 times a year, and I post comments a lot. 😦

      • *laughs* I’m wrong about something at least two or three times a day! Yeah, we all hate admitting we are wrong. That’s a human trait. But admitting it where other folks can pounce on it and parade that admission around like the head of a defeated enemy? Well, that’s tough, that is.

    • I heard the problem described like this: We think liberals are either ignorant or misguided, they think conservatives are evil. We think we can change their minds and get along, they think we belong in camps or ovens.

  7. Mostly they’re kids who realize that they’ve been lied to all their lives, and think that by turning the lies completely around they’ll find the truth.

    Many people fail to emotionally grasp that the most effective lies are not the fully false but the mostly true, Thus reversing the logic of the Left decreases rather than increases the truth component of your thinking. The goal of logic, reason and (valid) argument ought be the distillation of what is knowably true and the discarding of that provably false, with some recognition of the remainder as “possible but proven.”

    It is in this regard that the contemporary misunderstanding and misapplication of Statistics is most blatant. Because people do not understand the components of a Bell Curve they commonly take the wrong conclusion from a statement about such a curve. Their failure to distinguish between the concepts of Mean, Mode and Median simply exacerbates the problems, as does their ignorance of Standard Deviation.

    The cure for such fallacious thought used to be education but these days the opposite seems to be happening.

    • Nonsense, education is the cure. The problem is that those who claim to be educators are mostly indoctrinators.

      • Which is why I insist on saying that I am a teacher and a writer, NOT “an education professional” or “an educator.” My goal is to have students make new connections and to start developing a faint idea about where the modern world comes from. They hate my essays when I say “Any of the following could be correct. Pick one and convince me using evidence.” But, but, whats the One True Answer? “Pick one and convince me.”

        • Which is why I insist on saying that I am a teacher and a writer, NOT “an education professional” or “an educator.”

          My buddy Chu3k (the 3 is silent) the logic professor used to hate being called a teacher because “that assumes there is some learning going on.”

        • And then the trick is to break them of trying to use emotional arguments, yes?

          Argh, why don’t they teach rhetoric anymore???

          • The answer is obvious. Because if they did, the students would be able to see through the ridiculous things they’re being indoctrinated with.

        • My best teachers were those who would happily throw back the “right” answer at the student and ask them to prove it. Make the student explain the whys.
          Sadly, those teachers are rare.

        • The funny thing about mathematics is that you generally *can’t* pick a side and then convince someone that one of either side is true. Either a theorem is true, or it’s false; if you can prove both, it’s because you’re changing axioms somewhere or you have stumbled onto a paradox.

          Even so, when you prove a theorem, you’re explaining *why* something is true, and chances are, you can do that in multiple ways, with multiple levels of detail…

          In high school, I had a friend who could look at an equation and tell the teacher the answer without doing the work — and thus had problems with doing their homework to the teacher’s satisfaction. I have since realized that “showing your work” is a way to explain to *others* why the given answer is true — basically, it’s a tiny proof. I can’t help but wonder whether such an explanation would help out math students who are itching to tell the answer without doing the work…

          (I should also add that “showing the work” is important for a second reason: I have since heard of another person who was an “I can do it in my head” type who coasted along until he got into more complicated math — and found that he couldn’t do it, until he went back to the older stuff and “showed the work” until he could understand what he was doing…so just because you can instantaneously do something, doesn’t mean you understand what’s going on…)

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Back in school, I was told to “show your work” for math problems so the teacher could give partial credit for a mistake in the math.

            IE forgot to “carry a number”.

            Without “showing your work”, the teacher wouldn’t know if you had “guessed” and got the wrong answer.

            • Back in slide rule days took a course in heat transfer where if the final answer was correct, within a significant digit or two, there was no check of what went between. Partial credit was awarded for the work in between if the answer was off. And on day 1 we were told, “Remember, heat ALWAYS flows from hot to cold. If you get an answer where it’s going from cold to hot, go back and figure out where you made your mistake.” Needless to say, on one test, time running out, finished the last problem with about 15 seconds to spare- and heat was flowing from cold to hot. Too late to go back, so I erased the negative sign. It was close enough….

            • Without “showing your work”, the teacher wouldn’t know if you had “guessed” and got the wrong answer.

              Or, as I have told several younger people who think that if they get the answer right, they have no reason to show how they got it – what if they are doing it WRONG, and don’t know it? You can sometimes do your work wrong and get the right answer, but eventually, that will come back and bite you.

              • Call it the “Wax on, wax off” reason for showing your work.

                From memory, Mr. Miyagi showed the kid exactly how he was supposed to do those motions.

                TBH, the “Trust Me, Do It This Way” method of teaching works better if you have teachers who are actually teaching something they know….

          • My folks just told me it let the teacher see where something went wrong, if it did.

        • [W]hats the One True Answer?

          Have you been teaching Existentialism to those kids? How is that allowed?

          Proper Party protocol requires teaching them that the correct answer is the one which advances the goals of the Party!

          • Proper Party protocol requires teaching them that the correct answer is the one which advances the goals of the Party this week!

        • My high school English teacher, tricksy woman that she was, would *pay attention* in class. When we argued one way, our next paper would demand we support the opposite position. Class debates would list a topic… and which side you had to defend to the death was *random.*

          Learned more in that class about how to learn than any other, period.

          • Running that kind of class takes both knowledge and work, neither of which modern “educators” or those who approve the curricula are much interested in.

            • My teacher had tenure, a retired husband who’d invested well, and, well, a *hobby.* She enjoyed her job.

              First time I saw her, I was in biology class (first time accelerated courses went from “prove you can do the work” to “choose to take the class.” We finished 1/3 the material the previous class did) helping out some other students.

              “Y’all are going to be seniors in two years. Some of you will be taking my AP English class, and you can kiss your little A’s goodbye!” *witch cackle*

              To say she was a character would be to stretch the term. Great class, though.

        • Though, to be sure, one is wiser for classroom purposes to pick the side you agree with. . . .

          I keep hearing about the Fundamental Attribution Error, allegedly proven by handing the subjects an essay, and telling them the author had been assigned the topic, and saying they were making the error when they said the author agreed with the essay. Any sane person would regard that as the way to bet, assuming it was not a farrago of strawmen and projection. The better the essay, the more likely — though never up to certainty.

    • “…the contemporary misunderstanding and misapplication of Statistics is most blatant.” Perhaps one of the most pernicious misunderstandings is the universal application of the bell curve. Most real-world phenomena follow other, sometimes more complicated, patterns that don’t admit to easy explanation, let alone pontification. When someone presents me with a facile “statistical” argument, I usually start channeling Paul Harvey and ask for “the rest of the story.” The resulting discussion usually informs us both.

      • The use of the normal (bell) curve for anything other than the central limit theorem is one of the problems. Most real world situations are a collection of Nonhomogeneous Poisson Processes, and as such are very hard to fit into the nightly news.

        • The inability to comprehend even so simple a concept as a Bell Curve is indicative of the depth of our culture’s induced ignorance.

          One of the attractions I found Sabremetrics (“Moneyball”) held for me was the ability to test out tools and techniques of rigorous analytics in a field where the stakes were trivial. Like doing push-ups to develop upper body strength, the exercise is valuable for the effects on oneself more than for the direct results.

          • Ah, my best friend and I played Tahtzee in High School. We would roll the dice, then calculate the probability of achieving any objective times the reward for said objective. We based our 2nd roll on those calculations and proceeded forward.
            I then got introduced to Dungeons and Dragons. The distributions available with multiple and multi-sided dice together, averaging dice and other variations was astounding.
            It wasn’t until I got into modeling and simulation that nonhomogeneous poisson processes arrive. They aptly describe, for example the customer flow for a restaurant. You have a distribution for breakfast, lunch, dinner and night time snacking. (My brother claimed he wanted to run a hot dog cart in D.C. when he retired, so we wanted the best analysis possible before he embarked.)

    • It is in this regard that the contemporary misunderstanding and misapplication of Statistics is most blatant.

      If I were in charge of the curriculum statistics would be a mandatory course in secondary education. It would include teaching the kids how to lie and abuse statistics, mine for correlations and so on.

  8. All too many of them are our equivalent to leftoids. No thought processes to back up their positions, and an ignorant tendency to attack those they need on their side. Sans Colutes anybody?

  9. It’s the oldest debating trick in the book. Control the vocabulary, and you’ll control the terms (and frame) of the debate. Just try arguing with anyone from the IT department in a large corporation, and the acronyms will fly like gravel — and the more the argument threatens them, the greater to opacity of the acronyms.

    I used to call these people “Mystics”, in that they and they alone could understand their language and therefore were impossible to debate unless you were part of their little magic circle.

    In some cases, acronyms and abbreviations form a kind of shorthand which helps when talking to people versed in the same subject matter — just listen in to a conversation between serious gun owners sometime — but it’s completely dishonest when used to silence or overawe the competition who are not party to the language.

    As said above, the best way to combat this is to ask the Mystic to explain exactly what the term means, every time they say it. I used to do that when dealing with consultants, and when they explained the term, I would say, “Why didn’t you just say THAT, then?

    As I’ve got older and less forgiving of this crap, my way now is to snarl, “Speak f*cking English when you talk to me” but I’m told that’s too unfeeling, too much like “mansplaining” (ho ho). Like I care.

    • Ah, the ‘negative’ vs ‘positive’ rights. That one slipped by me totally, and I was in awe/horrified by the implication that that vile association brings in the mind.

    • As you said, sometimes you have to have abbreviations, special names, and acronyms just to get a handle of a given situation. The absolute most dizzying case was when I was employed as a software developer for a telecommunications company: Woohoo! We get to combine the jargon of the computer world with that of the telecommunications world!

      In abstract algebra, there’s a tendency to name structures after mathematicians who made major contributions to the field. I was partial to this, but when I encountered the claim that this practice can make the field more opaque. I tested this idea with “Gorenstein ring” — a concept I was familiar with — which is a commutative Noetherian local ring with finite injective dimension as an R-module….well, that’s a *lot* to unpack (which includes *another* term named after a mathematician, Emile Noether)…so I’m not sure where to begin, to find a word that gets at the essence of the idea…so while I would like to increase transparency, it’s not clear how to do that…

      Of course, the purpose of this vocabulary is to help us understand the subject. It’s not at all hard to see, however, how this same vocabulary can get in the way of understanding, for those who aren’t familiar with the concepts…

      • I think, perhaps, your problem lies in trying to explain it in too short a set of words. Going by the words that I understood in that description, I can tell that it would take several paragraphs, if not pages, to explain the concepts.

        However, I don’t think that’s what Kim was talking about. Acronyms, being a form of shorthand to those in the know, are frequently opaque to the outsider, simply because the outsider does not know what the words are that the acronym represents, and which would be understandable without much specialized knowledge or training. Your example implies a level of education which carries an understanding of concepts which are themselves very hard to grasp by the layman without extensive explanation..

    • So I guess that means i don’t belong in an IT department? Because I don’t much deal in acronyms when talking to people who probably aren’t familiar with them, and back up and explain when I think someone hasn’t understood one.

  10. “So to me when a Marxist screams “check your privilege” what I really hear is “I’m a brain washed idiot.””

    When I hear “check your privilege” I always take it to mean “please punch me in the face.” It really is the only valid response, and beyond validity it is the only one that will actually get their attention.

    Funny how people never say it to me. ~:D

    • You know, they never say it to me either. If anyone did, I suspect I’d answer, “Is that your way of saying you’re unwilling to discuss anything like a rational person? Good to know.”

      • I’ve not had the opportunity, but the temptation to check my wallet and say “yep, it’s all here” would be large.

        • Some one said it to me on FB. I was quite happy to reply that it was in full working order thank you very much

        • How about, “What, is my privilege open? I hate it when that happens!” Or, “It’s not showing properly? Here, let me adjust it so y’all can see it easily!”

        • I haven’t had the chance either, but my snappy retort would be; “I did this morning and I’m a quart low on privilege – spot me a quart until next payday?”

        • SheSellsSeashells

          In dire rhetorical circumstances, my husband has been known to pull his waistband out, glance down, and proclaim “Yep, still there.”

          • Pondering a scene in which Matthew McConaughey grins at her and says, “Darlin’, step into the coat closet with me and we can check it together.”

            Speaking of whom … when using Google to confirm spelling of his last name, this came up, courtesy of the BBC:

            US star Matthew McConaughey gives students ‘safe ride’ home

            Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey has surprised students at the University of Texas at Austin by taking part in a scheme to provide them with safe late-night lifts home.

            On Monday the Austin resident used a golf buggy to pick some of them up.
            The Sure Walk project has been set up to ensure students get back safely from campus when it is dark.

            McConaughey, 47, graduated from the university in 1993. He is an avid fan of its American football team.

            A photograph of him dressed in an orange shirt driving smiling and startled students home was posted by the university on social media.

            “Longhorns take care of each other, and it’s ‘safe’ to say Matthew McConaughey agrees,” a post on the university’s Facebook page says.

            “Don’t forget to use Sure Walk when travelling home late at night; you never know who might pick you up!”

            Sure Walk – or Students United for Rape Elimination – provides students of the University of Texas at Austin with “volunteer companionship while walking home from campus”.

            It expanded its services earlier this month from 7pm to 2am every day of the week, the university’s news magazine said.

            It provides students with “peace-of-mind when studying late at night and ensure[s] safety for all”.

            Born in the small city of Uvalde, Texas, McConaughey eschewed a role in the family oil pipe business to study radio, TV and film at the University of Texas.

            Although he is perhaps best known for his leading roles in rom-coms such as Failure to Launch and The Wedding Planner, he won an Oscar for Best Actor in the 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club.

            In one of his latest films, The Sea of Trees, he stars as a suicidal man who travels to Japan to take his own life.

            Yet McConaughey has acknowledged that it is the rom-coms that have provided him with his “bread and butter”, telling the Daily Telegraph in a recent interview that has no qualms about being associated with the genre.

      • I’ve had it used on me a few times. I retort that I am Asian and female, how dare she imply I am unable to make my own decisions and think for myself.

        I’ve gotten apologies for the assumption I am white and male, and then I attack the presumption they have that they speak for me by presuming they have the right, privilege and responsibility to speak for ‘all of Asians’ and such.

        The idea is to use their spiels against them – as Larry once said, Internet arguing is a spectator sport, and the display shows the specators that

        1)Contrary to their assertions there are women who aren’t white on the non leftoid side and

        2) shows that the SJZ starts kowtowing to the ‘woman of color’ (how I hate that term) because their religion demands it and that they are not in fact arguing from a position of rationality.

        • I’ve yet to hear it spoken at me in live verbal combat, so haven’t had a chance to respond adequately. I’m sure I could stop laughing. Eventually.

          • If ANYONE has the idiocy to tell me that, I will ask them if they have ever had to hand-launder their clothes, sitting on a sidewalk with other people, having to haul ALL their water for home use from a single faucet/tap located in the street, and boil said water for drinking, IF it was clean looking enough, or having had to do that at a riverside. Because I have.

            And if they had to ever, ever enter any of the wet markets in the Philippines, they’d probably never eat again. The idiots.

        • This is why I steadfastly avoid indication of my sex, race of species, forcing others to engage my thoughts and not my persona.

          If I say two plus two equals two times two, the statement is valid or invalid in itself without regard to whether I sit to pee, stand to pee, or hold my pee?

          N.B.: no actual pee was employed in the composition of this comment. All writing done in strict accordance with the guidelines put in place by PETU: People for the Ethical Treatment of Urine.

    • I was thinking about checking my privilege, but the sergeant told me I hadn’t earned any.

    • KAFKATRAP!

  11. Being called a communist is one of my new and favorite pastimes, considering I’ve broken more communist heads than anyone not a veteran of the armed forces…

    Likely more commie heads appropriately rearranged than many vets: They also served who sat and watched the Fulda Gap.

  12. What brings this up is not religion, per se, except in the sense that some political movements seem to have acquired religious overtones.

    I blame it on secularism. There is, I believe, a large fraction of humanity that needs a religion in order to provide a moral framework, justify their banstubation, desires to root out heretics and so on. If they can’t have a traditional one then they’ll have an modern -ism instead. This no doubt explains why all the -isms are functionally so similar even if they occasionally disagree about who the good believers are and who the bad infidel are.

  13. This is exactly why I’m trying to approach folks who wouldn’t ordinarily be willing to consider conservative/libertarian ideas on a more fundamental level. Rather than chanting dogmatic phrases at each other, we should try to put aside those points on which we disagree and establish an at least temporary rapport around the things we can agree on, then gradually extend the discussion onto areas of contention. If those areas aren’t initially approached as us-vs.-them dichotomies, we might be able to get some meaningful thought going, both in those we talk to and in ourselves as well.

    • This is the only reason I’m still on speaking terms with some of my more lefty friends: they have thus far mostly resisted the dogma, and are still looking to find common ground, rather than demonize me.

      All the same, I’ve had to bite my tongue over some of the hysterics over Trump. (Not a fan, but the hysterics…good grief.) I’m hoping it’s temporary panic, in their case, and they’ll calm down soon enough.

      • Well, perhaps you can remind them that you felt the same feelings when Obama was elected, but the world didn’t end then and won’t end now. So let’s go get something to eat and think about what to plant in the garden next spring!

        • That does not seem to penetrate. It does not apply because to their minds the only people afraid were racist h8rs who are to be summarily dismissed as unthinking bigots.

          • Alternately, as I quipped a couple of weeks ago, the fact that the conservatives didn’t riot when Obama was elected just shows that he wasn’t as bad as Trump will be.

        • With Trump’s election, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to deny care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to accelerate and our planet began to sicken.

          For it is said that after the Light-bringer will come the anti-Light, spreading darkness wherever his gaze shall fall, causing an end to hope and reversal of change.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          I have seen this argument used, and without exception the response has boiled down to “but this is DIFFERENT! It’s US!!”

          That or “yes, you evil conservatives DID TOO protest when Obama was elected”, with the charming assumption that signs, tricorn hats*, and one burning-in-effigy are equivalent to fires, roadblocks and property destruction.

          *the side whose protestors dress up as giant vaginas really has no room to gripe about costumed protestors, just sayin’.

          • Well, it’s also good to realize that some people are just not reachable. At that point, you’re actually talking to spectators, showing them just who is trying to be reasonable and tolerant, and who is absolutely bigoted.

          • The T.E.A. Party protests began only after the depths of Obama’s transformation of America became manifest: large groups of conservatives ruthlessly invading public spaces and leaving them cleaner than before.

            As to your footnote, well, after all they are just a buncha big pussies …

      • I still have a great fear, though, that after they calm down, they’ll discover that Trump is, if not *quite* on their side, someone easy to mold to *be* on their side…

        So long as Congress remains in Republican hands, the Republicans remain sufficiently conservative, and the Republicans actually have a spine, this isn’t going to be a problem for conservatism…but those are some pretty major if’s to worry about!

      • “This is the only reason I’m still on speaking terms with some of my more lefty friends”

        Been there, done that. In my case, those lefty friends eventually turned on me and started screaming accusations of “Racist, Homophobic, science denier, Christian Fundamentalist!!!” None of which, of course, is true even in the slightest regard.

        Well, MAYBE the “science denier” accusation might be a LITTLE true, since I did say that while I do believe that the earth’s climate is constantly, gradually changing, I refuse to believe wholesale that mankind is THE cause* (or a major portion thereof) unless someone shows me some real evidence. They, of course, would rather rant and call names than show their work.

        * and yes, some of these friends actually believed that mankind is THE SOLE CAUSE of the global warming emergency. Never mind that scientists are pretty sure that it has been going on since the earth formed… Long before the predecessors of mankind crawled out of the primordial slime… or dog created mankind out of the jawbone of an ass…. or a cow licked some ice… or whatever… feel free to insert your particular religion’s origin story here…

        • You’ve found one of the tenets of their religion, there. You’re blaspheming when you ask them to actually show some evidence that supports their dogma. If they scream “science denier” it only means that they’re trying to appropriate the term “science” to mean their religion rather than actual science.

        • If someone is going to talk about the science of anthropogenic global warming, I want to hear intelligent scientific responses to the various scientific objections that have been raised to the notion. And, no, I won’t take “87% (or whatever) of climate scientists agree” or “Climate change skeptics are in the pay of the oil companies” and “We have to take drastic action now or we’re DOOMED” as scientific responses. I want to tell such people to answer the d***** questions. Show me the *science*.

    • There is over abundant research to show that many conservative ideas, shorn of the brand label, are highly favored among minority* groups. Ask almost anyone whether they think parents ought be able to send their kids to the schools of their choice and the answer will be agreement. Frame that as a Republican proposal (e.g., “Many Republicans advocate ,,,”) and the support dries up markedly.

      Our opponents have won the branding game, which is why their attacks so often are directed against the source of any policy ideas rather than the substance. Before we take undue pride in our open-mindedness it is appropriate to reflect upon how many times we like an idea — say, a common curriculum for essential subjects taught in numbered grades to better facilitate students transferring through various districts and to enable effective comparison of school performance across a wide variety of metrics — until we notice the Left hand offering it and immediately become alert for hidden de-worming pills.

      This is why persuasion works best by establishing the general principles on which we agree and using those to highlight their fundamental philosophical structure. Leave it to the recipient to realize which political parties best provide for those structures working out.

      *As designated by the Thought Police

      • Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I wrote up a sort-of credo, a statement of rights and responsibilities, to do just what you mentioned in your last paragraph. I’m not sure where would be a good place to post it here, but here’s a link to one sight where you can read it:

        http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,234344.msg1147234.html#msg1147234

        (After I wrote that post I slightly modified one section to read thusly):

        Responsibility for Free Association

        You may associate or refuse to associate with anyone you desire, as may anyone else. You must not try to force an unwanted association on others, or try to prevent a desired association. When others attempt this, it is your responsibility to support those being targeted in their intentions. This includes both individuals and businesses—businesses may not be forced to provide products or services they don’t wish to provide, or prohibited from providing products or services they wish to. You must support such businesses’ right to choose how to operate even if you disagree with their decisions about these products or services. This does not mean you must patronize those businesses yourself if they contravene your principles, only that you must support their right to operate as they desire.

        Individuals and businesses may not be forced to provide information they don’t wish to provide unless required to by formal legal proceedings. You must support these individuals and businesses if they refuse to do so.

  14. Christopher M. Chupik

    The SJWs are authoritarian and obsess about race to an unhealthy degree. It maybe shouldn’t be surprising we now have an “alt-right” that’s authoritarian and obsesses about race to an unhealthy degree.

  15. Thank you for this and for the last several posts!
    I’ve been away for so long — real life went crazy and no time or energy left. Glad to be back.

  16. Several years ago I read a post where someone noted that in political discourse people have largely stopped trying to convince others. It’s no longer about swaying others but virtue signalling to ones own “side” while vilifying anyone who disagrees (which only really has the influence of driving those who disagree even further away).

    I first encountered it among the ideological purity wing of the Libertarians. I mostly agree with them on end goals (mostly–which really is all you can expect) but because I disagree about the best way to get the most possible of those various goals I am apparently “teh suxxors”.

    Argument by epithet, where instead of building broad coalitions that can at least accommodate some of what the people within it would like to have, divides people into ever smaller and more homogeneous groups. Where “Okay, I can’t get everything I want but if I work with this guy we can each get some of what we want” becomes “How dare you compromise. How can you stand for principle and work with such evil. Shame! Shame! Shame!”

    And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

    • Compromise is a funny thing. There are times where we need to stand our ground, and defend what is right to the death. There are other times where we need to give up a little, so we could make a little bit of gain.

      It’s a subtle art, getting it right, and I suspect that most of the time we get things wrong. (And while I despise people who aren’t willing to compromise on some things, say, whether we should have equal representation or representation by population, I also despise people who *do* compromise on important things, such as protecting the freedom of speech or the right to keep and bear arms….)

      • Part of the problem is recurrent misuse of compromise to mean only giving the aggressor half of what they want this time.

      • If thee wouldst seek compromise thou must first understand that which is essential. If thou know not the essence thee doth not dare compromise for fear that what thou doth cede could prove of the essence.

    • Trying to convince others? All I’m trying to do is cause others to have to buy new keyboards and monitors.

      ‘Cause that’s where the money is.

  17. It was observed long ago during a religious controversy that different people interpret the very same passages of the Bible so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling even religious questions by an appeal to the Bible. That hasn’t changed, and it is even more so, for political questions.

    The hate-mongers in certain segments of society have managed to convert large segments of the population to the notion that they are owed special privileges because they or are, historically have been, the victims of prejudice. Sure, prejudice and discrimination exists, but the notion that it can be cured by appropriate legislation is worse than stupid.

    Some years ago, I heard a woman loudly complaining about how racial discriminatory it was for her to have to wait in a long line at the post office. I thought, but didn’t say, that “That’s not racism. EVERYBODY has to wait in long lines at the post office.” Check your privilege, indeed. I don’t tell stories about the white privilege I don’t seem to have, but I do have enough of them that I am positively offended by the ignorance of those who spout that particular bit of advice.

    After hearing “Yanqui go home” enough times during my two years in South America, I can simply laugh in the face of whoever claims that only whites can be racist.

    • Koreans in the Philippines, giving Filipino employees a seperate bathroom, because they think we’re disgusting and dirty.

      • Yup. Now, if that kind of thing becomes enforced by law, that’s a legal problem. “Jim Crow” laws, in the United States, or deed restrictions on who can own property in a neighborhood have legal remedies. But dirty looks and foul names and refusal to let your children play with *those people* will happen anyway. That’s not primarily a political problem.

      • Some of the most disgusting restrooms I’ve ever seen were in controlled-access office buildings filled with upper-management and PhD types.

        • Well, obviously. You can’t possibly expect them to clean up after themselves, that’s what they employ janitors for. /snootynewenglander

  18. Had an argument with a guy about Castro yesterday. In between his actual attempts at rational thought, he kept calling the people arguing with him douches and telling us we couldn’t read. If you’re going to argue on the internet, fine, but insults just make you look like you can’t come up with a coherent argument. No one was listening to thing this guy said because all they saw were the insults. That, and he seemed to love a murdering psychopath…

    • the love of a psychopath is horrifying.
      Nothing justifies it.

    • Yep. That, reducio ad absurdum and strawmanning are three items that prove to me that someone is not arguing honestly. Saying that politics should not get you fired or blackballed does not mean that NSDP must be hired at the local Jewish bagel shop. And the “fire in a crowded theater” clarion has been bunk for decades. But most people are unwilling to accept arguments from all sides, targeting their attention.

  19. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I’m pretty sure halfrican queen is a term for Barack Obama.

  20. Question: What’s the other half of the Halfrican? Halfricanadian?

    I once had a discussion which turned into an argument that was heating up when I suddenly heard what the other guy was saying…which was pretty much the same thing I was saying. Not listening to the other person does NOT help.

  21. It’s especially cute when socialist atheists believe that the Bible demands Socialism, and that I, as a Christian, have no recourse but comply.
    😃 They might not be looking for an educational lecture when they brandish a couple of out-of-context lines like a fetish, but they’re darned well going to get one.

    I actually like the term “cuckservative”. There are a great many cases where it’s remarkably apt.
    Take the failure theater surrounding the Iran deal. Republican leadership deliberately set up the vote so that a supermajority was necessary to disapprove, rather than to approve–as has always previously been the case, then loudly wailed about how “There was nothing we could do!” “Our hands were tied!” was cuckservative to the core.
    The problem lays with the overuse of the word in situations where is arguably doesn’t apply.

    Likewise, with the derogatory reference to “magic dirt”. I would never state that assimilation is impossible, but moving here simply is not a guarantee that it’s going to happen. And with some demographic groups, the odds of it happening are vanishingly small.
    In Boise, the Spanish-language hospital translators are Bosnians. They’re great citizens, we’re lucky to have them, they’re a personification of immigration at its best, etc.. They openly despise the Mexicans who have been here longer than they, but never even bothered to learn English. They like the Somalis even less. And in the vast majority of cases, they’re right to.

    • Of course it’s no guarantee it will happen, particularly as we no longer encourage it. I think we need to import (to the extent we need to import) people who WANT to be Americans, not people who want to bring their culture here.

      • Can we at least stop denigrating and blocking them?

      • Well, I would go a bit further – it’s getting close to the point where we need to export those who don’t want to be Americans. (Whatever their “origins.” Some of my more distant family members, who essentially have the same “all-American” heritage going back to before the Revolution – I’d scrape up the money in a heartbeat for the one-way ticket.)

          • Cheapskate here. Tijuana is much closer to me.

            I know many people who are stuck there by family connections and economics – I could pick up a load of “wanters” every time I dropped off a load of “don’t wanters.”

            (Of course, the population of Tijuana would decrease – the “importados” wouldn’t last more than five minutes on the streets there, from what my friends tell me…)

      • I’ve got no beef with that.

        (shrug) I can only remark that the percentage of immigrants (legal and illegal) from points South, and refugees from Africa and the Middle East that I’ve seen who fit that template approaches zero.

    • Never did get a reply when I pointed out to somebody that “magic dirt” is exactly what we have in regard to enslaved persons, who magically become legally free when they hit American soil.

      • But, but, the only country that’s ever had slavery is the United States! Al least, that’s what the college educated believe these days.

  22. I mean giving a quote from the Bible and saying “And this ends the discussion” because if everyone believed in the quote and interpreted it as the quoter it would, only people of course don’t.

    That second part is usually the big rub.

    Good grief, as multiple Jewish folks here of various levels of scholarly have pointed out, the Jews themselves didn’t agree on interpretations of the Bible!
    That’s assuming a body didn’t somehow miss that a huge chunk of what Jesus did was walk around and explain to people that their initial interpretation was wrong…and that’s with folks who shared the same background, were using the exact same words, often that they had HEARD spoken, and could allude to things and expect to be understood just as sure as I know what my husband means when he says “as you wish.”

    Even inside of a single Church, there are usually a lot of licit interpretations for quotes. Don’t get me started on folks trying to give teachings more gravity than they have. 😀

    • The problem – and why I’m only now commenting – is it depends on the question. I’m a Fundamentalist. A real nitty-gritty Fundamentalist argument will have people breaking out Hebrew and Greek and talking about textual lineage.

      Sometimes the language is clear. Sometimes it’s not or something with no clear English counterpart. Translation from any language can be a bear, and the problem is to balance literalness with clarity. The more you move from literalness for the sake of clarity, the more you risk adding your own opinion.

      And yet I know a proofreader of one modern bible translation. There is some consistency, otherwise anyone’s translation goes. And hoo boy,. there’s some doozies out there. Thanks to free bible software, it’s easy to compare and evaluate different translations.

      But I’m on a rabbit trail. Got to head back.

      Okay. Some points are as clear as clear can be. If a question is the particulars over, say, the tiff Aaron and Miriam had with Moses, citing the pertinent verses pretty much does end the argument. If it’s about some point of doctrine that isn’t clearly addressed, then things get murky. One of the things that annoyed me teaching a bible class was when the author of a text allowed his assumptions to be given as factual. I was always careful to tell my class that the bible says what it says and we should neither add our suppositions or take away from clear statements.

      What bothers me here is that the argument that bible verses don’t settle an issue is often interpreted by secularists that it’s impossible to trust anything in the bible. If that was the case, we could all save ourselves a whole lot of trouble each holy day:

      “What did you give up for Lent, brother?”
      “Church.”

      Cough. Anyway, within an argument of Christian belief, citing verses can sometimes answer things. If it’s not a discussion that intersects Christian belief, then of course it’s going to make a Secularist’s eyes glaze. I’m a Christian and my eyes glaze when someone starts talking about Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. But once we get to core beliefs, what C.S. Lewis called Mere Christianity,, then that’s pretty clear. Other doctrines, maybe, maybe not.

      Yes, I know that religious arguments are not permitted here, and I’m not handing out Chick Tracts. This is just my two cents on something I find uncomfortable.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I enjoyed C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. 😀

        • Same. C.S. Lewis stays on the Kindle. Like Kipling, and others, as I grow older the words seem to grow richer, once the right experience as filled them with the spice of experience hard won.

      • No, this is on political arguments and someone will come in. One I banned without anyone seeing was even more precious: he was an old style Catholic and dropped by to tell us we’d all burn in hell because there hasn’t been a real pope since… the forties? Fifties. Nothing we could do about that. He just thought we shouldn’t be fighting for personal liberty, because we’re all going to burn in hell.
        Yeah…. banned without a single comment approved.

        • That is utter nonsense!

          There hasn’t been a real for much longer than that. Like, not sine 1378. Or maybe 1417 … there are various opinions on that.

          • Oh, and about us “all going to burn in hell“? Already happening. Time is an illusion of the Flesh and cannot bind its Creator.

        • Sorry, that was probably my fault…..

          • HOW? If I remember the blog wasn’t even on anything vaguely religious.

            • Because I argue with those kinds– after they’ve already assumed that I’m a Friendly, because of my other stances. Even did it for a Catholic e-mag for a while, where about the only loonery they wouldn’t approve was from that direction. (Usual pattern was one or two decent responses, then nuked.)

              That feels like betrayal, and this is one of the top results if you do a search for my ‘nym.

              • I’d ask which e-mag, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t actually recognize the name once you told me which one it was. Not being Catholic myself, I don’t know the score on any of them.

                But you brought to mind how one of the commenters on Dalrock’s blog would sometimes link to particularly egregious threads on one particular Catholic discussion forum. (I think it was called Catholic Answers.) What I mean by “egregious” in this case is “advocating positions directly opposed to Catholic doctrine“, such as being enthusiastically pro-divorce.

                I won’t claim that the Protestant side of the fence is doing any better at educating people in correct doctrine. But it’s clear that many Catholics, at least, are being… poorly served by their church in terms of being taught sound doctrine. I know at least a few very theologically sound Catholics who are doing what they can to fix that, thankfully. But from the evidence I’ve seen, there’s a lot of work to be done. (And as I mentioned, I need to do my part over on the evangelical Protestant side of the fence, too. There’s plenty of work and to spare in this area, unfortunately.)

                • Catholic Answers has two major issues with it– they let anybody comment on the message boards, and their address is literally catholic.com. Well, three– they’re very effective at spreading the truth, so they get a lot of attention.

                  I’ve run into some “honest questions” there that are rather suspect, since typing the question in on the main page’s search answered it. Frequently brought up a page specifically on the topic, with citations, too. -.-

      • I’m an agnostic – but I have studied the Bible, among other works. This is why I get so annoyed when I see someone telling a Christian that the Bible does not say something that it very clearly does, and does so consistently. Or vice-versa. If I want to argue with a Christian about whether homosexual “marriage” is moral – I don’t start out by telling them that their Testaments allow, nay, even celebrate it. I argue by attempting to refute the clear written statement that it is immoral.

        In a secular vein, I don’t know how many people I have hammered that start an argument with me about the right to bear arms. Argue all you like with me that there is no actual right to bear arms by logic (good luck, though!) – not that the Constitution says something different.

        So far as descriptors for people – call them something that describes what they are that has some relation to why they are wrong. Yes, they are quite correct that Jarret is a “halfrican” – but that has nothing to do with why she is a danger.

        • PRECISELY on it having nothing to do. Now if they’d called her a Red Menace or a Red Queen, I’d be nodding.

        • It’s cases like that when I “love” all the proclamations of love thy neighbor and Jesus ate with sinners when people want the church to bow to secular insight. They negate the idea that love thy neighbor includes not fostering his life of sin or that after putting down the stone, Jesus did not give the adulteress/prostitute a condom and say use protection. He said go and sin no more. So often those are used as cases of “just let em do anything without judgement”

      • Sounds like you’re doing a jazz riff on our hostess’ point, to me!

      • That was not a religious argument, it was an argument about rules for interpretation and translation.

        Now, Translation and the how and the when of Christians doing it — that is a religious argument.

        Also, PC/Mac/Linux is religious argument, as is the true nature of BBQ.

        • And don’t forget the classics: 9mm v .45 ACP, 1911 v Glock, and Garand/M14 v M-16/M-4/descendants.

  23. “Cuck, for instance, means “I don’t understand parliamentary procedure or governmental structure in the US and I want to impress it with how angry I am.” ”

    Um, no. That’s not even close to what it means, as you well know.

    Things have devolved to the point that in order for you, a moderate, to get the situation you desire, you need the immoderate. Without the “cuck flingers”, there would not be a President-Elect Trump. Minus the Supreme Dark Lord, the Puppy campaign would not be as far along as it is.

    Granting yourself the luxury of looking down your nose at people/forces who support and promote your goals is more than a bit disingenuous. And it’s getting a bit tiresome as well.

    • That is actually the purest bullshit. Without the horrible revelations about Hillary you wouldn’t have a president Trump. your Cuck this and Cuck that made me want nothing to do with your pony.
      Look, yes, it means you don’t get parliamentary procedure, sorry. They’re saying they were betrayed by people who COULD NOT do what they wanted, which they would have realized if they understood the US system.

      • First off, *we* have a President Trump, technically “President-Elect” Trump.

        Secondly, I have never used the word “cuck” Notice the quotations?

        Thirdly, simply repeating your baseless assertion as to my grasp of parliamentary procedure doesn’t make it true or apt.

        Lastly, without those who used the term “cuck” so effectively, it was likely that the election would’ve been between Hillary and Jeb Bush, with the revelations, horrible as they are, amounting to nothing. With all of us bemoaning the third Clinton Presidency.

        • Sorry, but you are asserting complete fantasy, wholly without basis. Vile name-calling from the fringe had precisely zero to do with Jeb failing to get the nomination.
          And Jeb would have beaten Hillary. Pretty much any of the other Republicans would have beaten her, probably much more easily than Trump did. Rubio would have routed her.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            Not sure if Jeb would have, but most Republicans could have beaten Hillary. The voters were just not that into her.

            • Agreed. Most Republicans could have beaten Hillary. I am not sure they wouldn’t have lost to her anyway.

              I have observed that one problem with those in the old guard of the Republican party is that they have so thoroughly embraced the position of the loyal opposition that they will often campaign themselves into loosing.

              I have nothing against the politeness in a campaign. I prefer it. Still, when you cede to the Democrats the right to tell you what the lines are and when you have crossed them you have put yourself at a grave disadvantage. There are ways to say politely and with charm, ‘Poppycock!‘, but there don’t seem to be many who can that are willing to run.

              Remember the last presidential election where a very gentlemanly candidate become enmeshed in accusations of sexism because of a willful misinterpretation of his efforts to employ and promote capable women? The MSM and the Democrats do not play by the same rules of engagement to which they hold the Republicans.

        • Jeb Bush’s major asset and his major liability were one and the same: his family. I thought it was his lukewarm leftism that turned the voters off, regardless of what wealthy donors thought of him.

          • Well, we don’t know if Jeb! would have won as he hasn’t actually run yet – His faux campaign last spring could hardly be called running, after all. More fund raising and waiting around for the coronation.

          • Jeb never really caught on with anyone. Why the Alters bring him up as some sort of Cuck boogyman is beyond me.

            • I think it’s because to a certain extent he *was* the bogeyman, and was feared before anyone was actually running. Then people did start running, he fell flat on his face in the polls, and, well, there wasn’t really anyone around to take his place as bogeyman.

              Unfortunately, there’s now a narrative that Jeb would have been inevitable if Trump hadn’t disrupted his coronation. It’s assisted, to a certain extent, by people who insist that Romney only got the nomination in 2012 because the party establishment wanted him, and not because everyone else running that year was a bad candidate.

    • Also, curiously, where am I a “moderate”? enquiring minds want to know.

    • Might I ask how this is supposed to get us to join his side?

      • They learned from the left. Call us names, and we’ll be convinced. (Rolls eyes.)

      • It’s not going to happen. It’s evident from anyone on our side that the scandals and abuse of power during the previous Clinton administration and the current one is what put Trump in office. The other side has yet to figure this out.

        I’ve tried to do several posts about this for my own digs, but they come off as either to weak or too mean. Quite literally, they don’t get this. So we have a media that’s still in full campaign mode, trying to undermine Trump support and keep the party faithful from wandering away. If they realized it was the scandals, they’d clean house. But they don’t, so they won’t.

      • We’re all on the same side, Sparky. It’s really amusing how folks here can criticize the group-think on File770, and yet not notice the group-think here.

        • Probably related to the response when someone asks for evidence of “groupthink,” or pretty much anything else that’s asserted rather than supported.

        • You’re kind of new here, I’m guessing.
          We tend towards groupthink the same way cats tend towards acting as a herd.

        • How would you know? You’re not part of the group. You are assuming you know, just as the media is assuming that people who voted Trump support Trump, and never grasp it was opposing Clinton.

          Being none of us have telepathy, might I suggest this is a golden opportunity for you to explain why you supported Clinton over Trump. Maybe you didn’t, but from the outside looking in vibe in your posts it’s a strong possibility. So instead of essentially calling us hypocrites, explain your reasoning for supporting Clinton.

          What do you say, Peter?

          • Mr. Cheek:

            I rarely comment, but I read here daily. As with any other community, online or not, there is a commonality within the regulars. Perhaps “groupthink” was too strong a term, but it’s something palpable. Not the same, of course, as File770, but palpable nonetheless.

            No, I didn’t vote for Hillary (shudder). I would have preferred Cruz, but that wasn’t an option, so I voted for Mr. Trump. Sorry to burst your misconception there.

            And the fact that Mrs. Hoyt didn’t defend or justify her ridiculous assertion that people who use the term “cuck” have no grasp of the parliamentary system hasn’t gone unnoticed either.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Well, IMO Sarah has more important things to do than to attempt to educate you.

            • See? The misconception is mutual. I don’t know what’s going on inside your head, just as you don’t know what’s going on inside the head of me or anyone else here.

              I pose another question, out of curiosity. Where I don’t “gee-haw” with a board, I don’t visit it, unless it’s to get a feel for an opinion for a group, just as I used to listen to Radio Moscow. When I don’t like a restaurant, I don’t go there again. Some places, like 770, I don’t bother with at all.

              So here is the question: If you dislike our hostess, why read this blog?

            • Sarah’s assertion stands as sufficiently obvious when it was made. Further defense is unnecessary as those who couldn’t grasp it the first time do not merit further expenditure of her energy.

              To borrow from Samuel Johnson, She has found you an argument, she is not obliged to find you an understanding.

            • I believe the description was intended as a broad generalization because almost all of the people I have seen use that term without irony demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of the USA parliamentary system and seem awfully angry about people not agreeing with them.

              Sarah and I tend to hang out in the same online circles, so I’d hazard a guess it’s the same for her.

            • Gee, “perhaps” an accusation of practicing a consensus defending delusion is too strong?

              “Perhaps” you should look up what “groupthink” involves, and then compare and contrast with what actually happens here.

              The Symptoms of Groupthink
              Janis identified eight different “symptoms” that indicate groupthink:
              1) Illusions of invulnerability lead members of the group to be overly optimistic and engage in risk-taking.
              2) Unquestioned beliefs lead members to ignore possible moral problems and ignore consequences of individual and group actions.
              3) Rationalizing prevents members from reconsidering their beliefs and causes them to ignore warning signs.
              4) Stereotyping leads members of the in-group to ignore or even demonize out-group members who may oppose or challenge the groups ideas.
              5) Self-censorship causes people who might have doubts to hide their fears or misgivings.
              6) “Mindguards” act as self-appointed censors to hide problematic information from the group.
              7) Illusions of unanimity lead members to believe that everyone is in agreement and feels the same way.
              8) Direct pressure to conform is often placed on members who pose questions, and those who question the group are often seen as disloyal or traitorous.

              https://www.verywell.com/what-is-groupthink-2795213

              A good, what, 25% of all comments that aren’t “C4C” related actively consist of violating #2, #3, #5, #6 (yeah, good luck there), #7 and #8.

              I have no idea how to even quantify the amount of time folks here spend on pretty obvious trolls for #4– because sometimes they get better. Heck, we have much stronger worded fights among folks who are regulars here than we do even when folks come in swinging. Random normal folks who are able to follow very, very basic, old fashion style manners and rules of evidence?

              Yay, new folks!

              I suspect that the part where folks who come in throwing out unsupported accusations aren’t treated the same as those who make rational arguments, or the ability to recognize dead-end subjects like the American Civil War or “trying to convert people,” might be what you are interpreting as ‘groupthink.’
              Sad thing is, that’s pretty much backwards– those things are defenses for honest conversation. It’s not like there’s even any sort of secret involved in why we don’t talk about the war between the states — more heat than light.

  24. Christopher M. Chupik

    I’ve noticed on Facebook lots of alt-right types showing up in the comments of pretty much everything to spout off on politics. And it’s just as annoying as when the SJWs do it.

    • Yep. This. And the worst part is they think it’s why Trump won. I think it’s why it wasn’t a complete rout. Also, let’s remember the guy who called me a cuck and accused me of being drunk because I posted something about how bad Hillary was and how I was going to have to Vote for Trump. It’s like “You must be ecstatic to vote for him, or you’re the enemy.” Idiots.

      • I commented on many of those blogs, here, and in other places, that a very large percentage of votes were Trump were votes against Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wive, corrupt alcoholic enabler of her sexual predator husband. Sometimes using the whole phrase, sometimes part of it. This was, pretty much, the ultimate lesser of two evils election.

        Lot’s of reasons to vote against either major party candidate. And the really sad part was, if you were looking for reasons to vote for rather then against- Trump had her beat there.

        • Hey. I was voting against “Put her people in harm’s way and do nothing to protect them, and then lie about it” candidate for CinC and the “I’m above the law” candidate for chief law enforcer.

          • THIS is why I voted Trump, too.

          • Between that aspect, and her fully revealing her utter contempt for much of America with her remarks, I found I couldn’t not vote for Trump. I did stare mournfully at the ballot a while before finally filling in the little box beside his name. Whatever his faults, at least Donald Trump doesn’t seem to hate America and Americans.

            • *mournful nod*

              Mine was largely that Hillary has a real hatred of the military– I don’t mean a philosophical one, I mean the leaves-people-who-voted-for-her-shaking-from-the-force-when-it’s-aimed-at-them type hatred.

              There’s something wrong when I have to vote for the guy I think used the military rather cynically, because he’s not insane.

              • If anyone ever asks me (which I don’t expect to happen until our resident Sandernista gets back from Italy) I plan to say that Hillary already had her chance to steal the White House china, and I thought she didn’t deserve a second one.

            • I also had a hard time voting for Trump, but voting against Hillary was easy.
              I seriously considered Johnson, but he worked really hard to disqualify himself- the VP choice was a big nope!

              • Since I vote in Texas (my last state of residence before I moved overseas to work), I was able to vote third-party without worrying that I’d accidentally hand Hillary the win. So I voted for the Constitution Party candidate. But if I had been in a battleground state, I would have ended up holding my nose.

                In fact, if I had been voting in person in a battleground state, I would have carried a clothespin in my pocket. Then after the poll workers verified my identity, I would have held up my hand, said, “Just a minute”, pulled the clothespin out of my pocket, stuck it on my nose, and said, “Okay, I’m ready. Hand me the ballot.”

              • (Nods) This election finished off any hope I might have had of the Libertarian Party being a viable third option in its present form.
                Seriously, the best chance y’all’ve had at snagging electoral votes since your party started, and your VP is a gun-grabber and your Prez views religious liberty as a black hole and has no clue what Aleppo even is? What is wrong with you people?

      • Yup. Just like SJWs – mild optimism is not to be tolerated.

        • How else are the alters supposed to get people to want a rightest tyrant to fight leftist tyranny if there’s no doom and gloom?

    • A clown standing on his head is still a clown.

    • Patrick Chester

      That’s because they are exactly like the SJWs. Same tactics, different set of “good” and “bad” groups to praise and demonize.

  25. I didn’t see it anywhere above, which surprised me. But I avoid discussions about religion religiously. Dating back to a truism I read as a teen, written, I believe, by Heinlein. (Which is why I’m surprised…) “It’s impossible for any two people to have a rational discussion about religion.” Referring to the fact that all religions require faith rather then fact to sustain them. It’s something that’s stuck with me throughout the years.

    • I dunno. A friend of mine is born-again and finishing up his formal studies before he becomes a preacher. I’m a happy athiest. We have lengthy and interesting discussions about Christianity, doctrine, and the influence of Christianity on history.

      If we both thought the same, we’d lose a large and interesting subject of discussion. We can’t talk politics, gunsmithing, and motorcycle repair *all* the time…

  26. I recall reading, years ago, of mountain folk arguing with each other citing Bible verses. The SJWs have no bible, except maybe the Manifesto and Alinsky, and I doubt they’ve ever read either. I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before, but I’ve gotten over it.
    And, Sarah, for a white Mormon male, of course you’re a “moderate”.

  27. BobtheRegisterredFool

  28. I’ll be the contrarian and admit that I thought “halfrican queen” was funny, but then:
    1) I am a C. S. Forester fan (and he’s the author of The African Queen)
    2) I didn’t think it was a poke at Jarret and her ancestry. I thought it was a poke at Obama and the Reggie Love affair accusations.
    Considering how subjective humor his, I think it is better to get your blood up at personal accusations than because someone has a sense of humor you think uncooth. I guarantee everyone of us has laughed at things that others would think is horrible and must surely indicate our inhumanity.

    • It’s only funny if you don’t keep hearing it over and over and over again, with tones of witticism. It’s not a neologism. And no, from context it couldn’t be Obama.

      • Dear Sirs, in regard to your repeated use of “Halfrican Queen” please review pertinent discussion from The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress in re: Funny Once vs Funny Always.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Jokes have a very limited service life. If you are using something as a joke, you use it maybe once per audience. If you add it to your permanent vocabulary, it is not a joke.

          Nonfiction is most accessible when it limits the use of newly coined words and phrases to those that are pertinent and necessary. Accessibility is a component of persuasion.

  29. This made me think of the ‘fighting with words’

  30. I’m sorry to read you’re having such a rotten time with your auto-immune system. I hope you feel better soon & that the Heck* that was 2016 is over soon for all of us.

    *It’s not Hell, proper,of course but I think you can see it from the back 40.

  31. Jarrett has no Arab connection that I know of. She was born in Iran to American parents; her father was a doctor or biologist working for the government of the Shah. They left Iran when she was six.

    If she is working for the Moslem Brotherhood or other Sunni jihadis, she’s doing a lousy job. Obama has consistently favored Shi’a Islamists, mainly Iran. He’s droned-bombed a lot of the Taliban and ISIS.